Seeds forum: Aphids on seedlings--can I use Neem.

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Name: Emily
Mid-Cape Cod, MA. zone 7a
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CapeCodGardener
May 2, 2012 6:41 AM CST
Hello!
I've been away from this site but am glad to return with a question that I haven't seen after my search of the forum:
Can I spray my 2-inch pansy seedlings (started under lights) with Neem or some other spray to kill the infestattion of aphids that I suddenly have? I've been gently rubbing or washing them off, but this is time-consuming and perhaps too rough for seedlings? But I also worry that Neem or another insecticide would be too harsh.
I have never had aphids before this year in my indoors set-up, but I guess there's always a first time!
Thank you.

(edited for a typo!)
[Last edited by CapeCodGardener - May 2, 2012 6:42 AM (+)]
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
May 2, 2012 12:49 PM CST
Insecticidal soap seemed pretty gentle to me, but I haven't used it on seedlings before.

Dishwashing soap (dilute) might or might not be gentler than insecticidal soap.

I like to use the finest, hardest spray I can get.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 2, 2012 1:38 PM CST
I have never successfully combated an indoor aphid infestation with any product. Not even systemics. Would your weather allow for setting them outside in a protected area after a thorough rinsing off of the existing aphids?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
May 2, 2012 7:17 PM CST

Moderator

sorry I am not help.. no clue
Name: Emily
Mid-Cape Cod, MA. zone 7a
Charter ATP Member
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CapeCodGardener
May 2, 2012 8:09 PM CST
Thank you for the advice.
I'm amazed also that I have aphids in my sunroom where my lighted shelves are set up--where did they come from? Anyway, I'm going to combine RickCorey's and Woofie's thoughts--giving my seedlings a good spray with water (which usually works with my outside plants when they contract aphids) and then moving them to a more "outside" area which is still somewhat protected from the vagaries of the Cape Cod spring. I'll see if the little green guys disappear, and if not, try a gentle insectidal soap treatment.
I appreciate the help!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
May 2, 2012 9:52 PM CST
Did you bring any plants into your sunroom from outside? Or use soil or pots that weren't sterilized?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
May 3, 2012 1:38 PM CST

Moderator

I think soapy water spray works better than plain water spray.

And since they hide on the underside of leaves, I can often remove a lot of them just by dragging my hands over leaves and squishing.

Karen
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
May 3, 2012 2:03 PM CST
Karen is right about soapy water working better. I just couldn't remember if pansies are sensitive to light and soap. I know there are some plants that react badly to the combination of soap and sunlight. Tomatoes? Of course, you could also wash off the soapy water, too. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.

drewtoby
May 4, 2012 7:27 PM CST
You can always get some lady bugs. Their natural!
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Name: Emily
Mid-Cape Cod, MA. zone 7a
Charter ATP Member
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CapeCodGardener
May 5, 2012 7:15 PM CST
Hi there,

I probably brought in the aphids on some plant or other that I brought into my sunroom, "closed system" that it is in this season.

Thanks so much for the advice about using soapy water! I found some insecticidal soap spray at the plant nursery and sprayed the seedlings well, underside and top of leaves. I also removed them from their original trays and repotted them in clean pots with new soil. I THINK that the little green blighters are all gone--I don't see any more of them. The pansy- seedlings' leaves also seem to be OK with the spray--no signs of burning or other harm. Except to aphids, mwahahhahhha!

Anyhow, you all were very helpful and I thank you. My pansies thank you as well!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
May 5, 2012 7:26 PM CST
That's great! Just keep a close eye on them! Those little pests are persistent!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
May 6, 2012 4:38 AM CST

Moderator

That's for sure. They're masters of disguise.

Nice to see you Emily, I haven't seen you for a while.

Karen
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
May 6, 2012 10:00 PM CST
Congratulations! Winning a round against pests is a rare pleasure.

I think they lay eggs, or practice spontaneous generation. Mine came back after about a month, but that corner isn't getting much care and attention at the moment. I think we do have to be vigilent.

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